WA Senate passes modified K-12 health care bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington state Senate has passed a measure altering health insurance benefits for K-12 school employees.

Senate Bill 5940 -- passed Saturday on a 29-17 vote -- replaces a contentious proposal to consolidate school employee health insurance under the state's Health Care Authority with one keeping health care administered by school districts.

The bill would require districts to give financial and enrollment information to the state's Insurance Commissioner and to establish employee premiums for full family coverage that are at most three times the premiums for individuals. It would require all those covered to pay part of their premiums and make districts offer high deductible plans with health savings accounts.

Districts that fail to comply would have their employees placed in the existing health insurance program for state workers.